Today I have an email that I received from one of my patients Jacqualine Tan who actually took it out of her own free time to help others with scoliosis. She had recently attended a talk held by a Singapore scoliosis support group where a professor proclaimed that the only treatment available for sufferers was bracing a surgery. Obviously this left the group feeling quite hopeless.... even more so when previous surgical patients gave testimonials of how they regretted doing the surgery due to the pain and disability it caused. Unfortunately patients are not given sufficient information to be able to make their own informed decision. Many times I have heard parents say that their doctor told them that "there is nothing that can be done and that they must go for surgery". Yet ask any orthopaedic surgeon whether or not they would opt for surgery if one of their own family members had a severe curve, a majority would say no. If professors and doctors don't believe in surgery then why do they promote it? I guess they have to make a living too. Harsh I know but this is the reality, I quickly learned this while doing the medical round doing from Doctor to doctor while going thru chronic fatigue. How can an industry built upon sickness deliver health? While Modern Medicine is great for emergency critical care and I would go to no one else if I was in a car accident, it is hopeless for chronic conditions such as scoliosis and fatigue. Fortunately the tides are changing and their is a new breed of medical doctors calling themselves integrative and anti aging who I would trust with chronic conditions. Optimal health comes from following the basics: good food, clean air, adequate sunshine and exercise.
So heres Jacquelines story.
Dr Kevin Lau
Dear Yin Hoe,
I like to join the Scoliosis Support Group as a member so I'll have opportunities to share what I've discovered in my journey to wellness. I prefer to give my response here as I find online forms rather restrictive.
I first learnt my spine has a sideway curve 8 years ago when I went for a full body massage. The masseuse traced the curvature with her finger . I dismissed it as an abnormality I was probably born with and thought no more of it as I had no pains nor aches anywhere, not even the usual backache ladies usually complain of when they have their periods and the number of times I've had a headache can be counted on one hand.However in the past few years, I suffered from tense shoulders and low energy .
A few months ago, I began to wonder whether my spinal curvature is what 's called "Scoliosis" . Hence, when Contour Health Chiropractic, Raffles City, advertised a workshop on Scoliosis, I attended. The chiropractor confirmed I have scoliosis after a visual assessment . A spinal X-ray confirmed I had right thoracic "C" shaped scoliosis of 36 degrees from the neck to T6.
I signed up for a 80 sessions package with Contour Health.
Twice each week, I do a one-hour therapy session at Contour Health . I do exercises to stretch and strengthen muscles and the bones in the upper part of my body and the neck , including traction and inversion. Then I adjoun to the doctor's room where he adjusts my spinal and cervical vertebrae .The electrodes , which I find most relaxing , comes last.
Contour Health send their patients for an assessment x-ray when they have completed 72 sessions.. X-rays of the earliest patients ( Contour Health established their first clinic in Singapore in Aug 2005) have been very encouraging. All the patients have had their curvatures reduced ; the patient with the least improvement registerd a 7 degree correction. There was a 15 year old who improved from 45 degrees to 28 and a 70 year old from 16 to 4 (hope I've recalled correctly).
I don't know how much my spine has shifted as my X-ray is not due till Aug but I certainly feel much more relaxed. Dr Kevin Lau has a passion for getting his patients well . Besides the exercises and spinal manipulations, Kevin emphasises the importance of providing our muscles and bones with the necessary minerals and vitamins to get better. He urges us to go GREEN - eat fresh green vegs (uncooked where possible or lightly steamed) and drink green juices (juices from fresh green veg like brocolli, spinach, kai lan, cucumber ). He also encourages us to detox to rid our bodies of unwanted organisms and to make our own probiotics to improve our digestive systems. With more enzymes in our digestive systems, our cells will be able to assimilate more of the nutrition we're sending their way.
Dr Kevin's latest is Magnsium Taurate - he believes Magnsium may reduce tension in muscles and increase energy level. I started Magnsium Taurate only last Sat and Dr Kevin was right indeed! I can actually feel my shoulders and neck getting looser! On Sunday, after lunch, I climbed up 200 stories to prepare for a trek in India/China come Oct but I wasn't tired as I normally would have been !
Besides doing therapy at Contour Health, I go to Nan Wah Pai at Geylang for taiji twice each week.Nan Wah Pai Taiji places emphasis on qi circulation and body postures so my taiji practise has also contributed significantly to my becoming a more relaxed person physically and mentally.
Once a week, I go to Nan Wah Pai Orthopaedic Centre at Yishun for "tui na." The Orthopaedic physician who's China trained is very experienced and skilful at breaking the qi blockages in my upper back, shoulders and neck.
And I mustn't forget to mention my Magnetic pillow and Magnetic mattress - they promote blood circuation while i slumber and I awake feeling refreshed each morning.
Chiropractic,taiji, tui na, green veg and juices, energy healing meditaions and magnet therapy - they have all made me much healthier and more relaxed than before I discovered I have Scoliosis.